Last fall we approached local legend Gordy Knudtson about doing a TCDC-sponsored drum clinic. To call Gordy a “local” legend, while true, shortchanges his contributions to the drumming world. Many musicians know Gordy as the Steve Miller Band drummer (for the past three decades!), but he is also a go-to studio musician, has written classic drum instruction books, and is a world-class educator.
He is also the originator of the Open/Close technique that among other applications can result in impossibly fast single strokes. After witnessing it, Joe Morello exclaimed, “I’m SO glad you did this! Billy Gladstone was messing around with this when I was studying with him, but he never documented it. I think you took it further than he did!” Even more on Gordy’s career is found at his website at https://www.gk-music.com/gordy-knudtson/
Gordy was totally open to the clinic idea, but he wanted to do something a bit different: A musical performance followed by a clinic. He proposed doing a trio performance with Dean McGraw and Jim Anton, two equally accomplished musicians. We were super into the idea, and set forth to host it at the Parkway Theatre in Minneapolis. Nearly 100 drummers attended, making the clinic a huge success.
To mark the occasion, TCDC co-owner and drum guru Kelly build a special drum set to Gordy’s specs: a 16 bass drum, 10 and 13 inch toms, and a 13 inch snare drum. The set, played with a powerhouse musical performance by Gordy, sounded amazing and huge beyond its sizes. We could do a whole blog on Gordy and his methodical, scientific approach to drums and sounds (he has build a number of sets himself), so when he decided to purchase the set following the clinic it was a real validation of the work we do at TCDC.
Gordy arranged to have the musical performance recorded, and the production turned out to be outstanding, We have those videos here on the blog. Check em out, and enjoy!